Wheelhouse Weekly – February 19, 2013

February 19th 2013


– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 17 . . . Number 8. . . Feb. 19, 2013

(Look in the archives for this weeks Special Edition.)



Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the Archives section.


MM&P officials joined other representatives of the U.S.-flag maritime industry Feb. 13 at a “meet-and-greet” organized by the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and its Washington advocacy arm, the American Maritime Congress (AMC). Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate were among the more than 200 people who attended the event. MM&P International President Don Marcus and International Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse represented the Masters, Mates & Pilots. MIRAID President C. James Patti was also present.

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) took the floor during the course of the event to discuss the newly created bipartisan Congressional Maritime Caucus. The two said they had decided to form the caucus to help ensure that issues critical to the future of the American maritime industry receive the attention they deserve in Washington, D.C.

Other members of Congress who attended the event were: Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.), Rep. Bill Enyart (D-Ill.), Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.).


In the wake of the fire that disabled a Carnival cruise ship and left thousands of passengers and crewmembers adrift in unsanitary living conditions for days, members of Congress are considering whether more oversight of the cruise ship industry is needed. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, sent a letter Friday to Coast Guard Commandment Adm. Robert Papp asking him to brief the committee on the Coast Guard’s investigation into the incident aboard the CARNIVAL TRIUMPH.

In the letter, Rockefeller said he was “horrified” by passengers’ stories of the conditions aboard the ship after it lost power. Rep. Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, said the incident “raises concerns that these enormous ships are not properly prepared for emergency situations.”

Rockefeller has asked the Coast Guard to tally up how much it spent responding in the case of the Carnival TRIUMPH, as well as in a similar 2010 incident involving another Carnival cruise ship which was towed to San Diego. Rockefeller wants the government to seek reimbursement from Carnival. “It is time that the cruise line industry—which earns more than $25 billion a year—pays for the costs they impose on the government since it’s the Coast Guard that comes to the rescue every single time something goes wrong on a cruise ship,” Rockefeller said.


The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) has posted a summary of the tentative master contract it negotiated with the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX). If approved by the membership, the six-year contract would expire Sept. 30, 2018. The agreement is subject to the drafting of final contract language and acceptance by the ILA membership. The new master contract will not take effect until all local bargaining is concluded. MM&P is the marine affiliate of the ILA.


The Maritime Administration (MARAD) last week released a report which showed that cargo volumes on the Great Lakes seem to be picking up from the extremely low levels registered in 2009. The report, entitled “Status of the U.S.-Flag Great Lakes Water Transportation Industry,” said the maritime industry in the Great Lakes region “is generally healthy, providing efficient, safe and environmentally friendly transportation service.” The results of the study were announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who underlined the fact that the Great Lakes maritime industry “continues to be competitive with railways and trucks.”

“The Department of Transportation is committed to a strong future for the maritime industry, and the Great Lakes fleet is an extremely important part of that future,” said Maritime Administrator David Matsuda. “This study helps the Agency and our industry partners better understand what we need to do to needed to keep Great Lakes shipping competitive and responsive to regional needs.”


President Obama in his State of the Union address on Feb. 12 proposed raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour and indexing the wage to increases in the cost of living. “Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour,” the President said. “This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead. For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. In fact, working folks shouldn’t have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while CEO pay has never been higher.”

The proposal was hailed by the AFL-CIO. “President Obama has re-started an important effort and we applaud him for that,” said AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs. “If the minimum wage was restored to its value in 1968, then today it would stand at $10.58, but more importantly if we kept the minimum wage in relation to the average wage, it would be close to $12 an hour. We must index the minimum wage to average wages so that all workers are able to benefit from productivity increases.”

Public opinion is strongly on the side of raising the minimum wage to an even higher level than the President proposed, with a recent poll showing 73 percent support raising it to $10 an hour.


Members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives last week decisively rejected a “right-to-work” for less bill intended to weaken labor unions in the state. The final vote was 212-141. It was the third time that the New Hampshire House of Representatives has defeated similar legislation.

New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie called the vote “a strong rebuttal of attacks on the middle class,” adding, “our elected representatives made it clear that they have no appetite for bills that will lower wages and erode the living standards” of residents of the state.

When the bill went down to defeat, union members and leaders in the packed gallery stood and loudly applauded. “I want to congratulate New Hampshire lawmakers today for listening to the people and defending the rights of all the state’s employees,” said a representative of the International Association of Fire Fighters. “These so-called ‘right-to-work’ bills are cropping up in legislatures all over the country, but the name hides the truth because they are designed to take away the rights of workers, not protect them.”

Right-to-work laws allow employees to opt out of financially supporting a workplace union while profiting from the same wages and benefits as dues-paying union members. They have the effect of lowering wages and benefits for union and non-union workers, as well as undercutting the tax base of local communities. The state of Oklahoma, for example, has lost a third of its manufacturing jobs since it enacted “right-to-work” legislation in 2001.


As announced in a special edition of The Wheelhouse Weekly last week, MM&P members have ratified a series of collective bargaining agreements containing the new MM&P Adjustable Pension Plan (APP). These long-term agreements will enhance both job security and retirement security for licensed deck officers aboard approximately eighty MM&P-contracted vessels. The collective bargaining agreements implementing the APP were approved in a ballot count conducted and certified on Feb. 13.

“The APP will enhance MM&P’s ability to compete for new jobs by making it easy for employers to forecast their all-in crewing expenses,” said MM&P International President Don Marcus. The agreements that incorporate the new plan extend the duration of MM&P’s current commercial-sector collective bargaining agreements for a minimum of ten years from their previous expiration dates. MM&P members ratified the new collective bargaining agreements that incorporate the APP by a margin of about 10 to 1.

Additional information about the APP is posted in the Members’ Only section of and contained in a special edition of The Wheelhouse Weekly that was published on Feb. 14 and is also posted online.


The MM&P International President, Secretary-Treasurer and the Pacific Ports Vice President will be present at membership meetings in the MM&P union halls in Seattle on Tuesday, March 5, in Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 6 and in Oakland on Thursday, March 7. In addition, there will be a meeting at the Honolulu Hall on Tuesday, March 12. All meetings will be held immediately after job call


The Offshore Familiarization Course will be offered at the New York/New Jersey Hall on March 12-13 and at the Los Angeles Hall on April 10-11 and Oct. 9-10. For more information or to sign up, please contact the hall at which the course is being offered.


Golden Gate Ferry service resumed normal operation on Feb. 17 following a collision between the ferry MS SAN FRANCISCO and a small boat near Tiburon that left one boater dead and another in the hospital. The ferry collided Feb. 16 with a 22-foot pleasure craft that was reportedly traveling at high speed. A spokesperson for the Coast Guard said the cause of the collision is under investigation.


Between now and the end of June, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS. (Please keep in mind, however, that the schedule may be subject to change.)

For class availability or information on courses and programs, contact MITAGS Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail her at Or, try our on-line calendar to register for class:

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 3/26/2013, 4/2/2013

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 3/20/2013

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 3/18/13, 5/12/13

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/7/13, 5/23/13

BST – Basic Safety Training: 4/8/13, 6/24/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 4/1/13, 6/17/13

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 3/18/13, 6/3/13

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 4/28/13

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 2/25/13, 5/6/13

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/11/13, 5/20/13

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/15/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/4/13, 4/1/13, 4/15/13, 5/6/13, 6/24/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/25/13, 3/11/13, 4/8/13, 4/22/13, 5/13/13, 6/17/13

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 4/8/13, 6/24/13

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 5/9/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 3/5/2013, 5/23/13

ECDIS-ENAV for Pilots (2 day): 6/13/13

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications: 3/7/13, 5/23/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 4/8/13, 6/24/13

FL – Flashing Light: 4/1/13, 4/10/13

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/24/13

LAP – License Advancement Program for C/Mate & Master: 4/1/13

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/6/13, 5/23/13

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership, 3/25/13

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 3/8/2013

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 3/18/13, 4/22/13, 6/10/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 5/13/13

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/18/13, 4/22/13, 6/10/13

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/23/13, 3/23/13, 4/13/13, 4/27/13, 6/15/13, 6/29/13

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 3/11/13,

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 3/11/13, 6/3/13

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 3/15/13, 6/7/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 2/20/2013, 3/6/2013, 3/20/2013, 4/3/13, 4/10/134/17/13, 5/1/13, 5/15/13, 5/22/13, 6/5/13, 6/19/13, 6/26/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 3/25/13, 4/1/13

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 4/8/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 3/25/13, 4/29/13, 6/24/13 SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 3/4/13, 5/6/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/4/13, 5/20/13

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/25/13

… Remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call. Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations.


Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

February 2013

20-21 Environmental Regulations / Vessel General Permit

25-1 Medical Care Provider

25-8 Medical Person-In-Charge

25-8 GMDSS

March 2013

4-15 Celestial Navigation

11th Radar Renewal

12-15 ARPA

18-19 ECDIS for Pilots

18-22 Able Bodied Seaman

20th Fatigue, Sleep, and Medications

21-22 Azipod for Pilots

25-29 ECDIS

27-29 Vessel Security Officer

Up-to-date information on the mutual funds open to participants in the MM&P IRAP and 401(k) Plans can be found by viewing The Wheelhouse Weekly online at